There is an exchange between Lucy and Aslan in C.S. Lewis’s book Prince Caspian that has become one of my favorite moments of the entire book. During the story Lucy is the only one who is able to see Aslan, and he has given Lucy some instructions. She tries to get her companions to follow her towards him but no one believes that she sees the lion. Finally, Lucy resolves to follow him anyway… She says,
” And I do hope…that you will come with me. Because – because I’ll have to go with him whether anyone else does or not.”
I feel Lucy’s frustration and her resolve as well. There is moment in your life when things that were previously blurry come into focus for the first time and you realize that no one else sees what you can see. No amount of conversation, or books, or videos will convince them. The only option is to take the path God has laid out in front of you.
My first encounter with the Catholic church was in my 20’s. Years of anti-Catholic teaching flowed through my veins but I was drawn. I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was all about. My encounter was unforgettable. The first Mass I attended was beautiful beyond measure – I began to weep without reason because of the sheer joy I felt. The presence of Christ was indescribable. Unfortunately, what I had learned growing up gripped my heart more tightly and I fled through tears from the Church.
To make the next 20 years pretty short I basically searched from one church to the next to find what I had left behind, sure that it could be found somewhere else. Martin Luther was brought to my attention and I realized that his teaching was as Catholic as a protestant could get without coming under censure. Today I bless Luther and Calvin for enabling me to fearlessly walk into the fold of the Catholic Church and back into the presence I left so long ago and had never found.
Not many think I know what I am doing. They are concerned. Some think that if I read this book or another that I will see the error. However, I know where I am headed and I knew how people would respond. My only hope is that they be my friends as always. We don’t have to discuss doctrine… what are mere words but different understandings and manifestations of the same truths. If they want to understand why I “jumped ship” the answers are out there.
What it all really boils down to is that I can see Aslan in the forest and he beckons me to follow… if I lose respect in the eyes of man, if my intelligence is questioned, if I lose my friends… I’m still going with him whether anyone else does or not.
On an aside, I’m extremely grateful that God has paved the way in unity for some of my most intimate relationships. It has made the path more full of joy and rejoicing.